Thursday, February 16, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - Flight

The first time I flew in an airplane was when I was 16 and went to a youth conference in Washington DC and New York.  Having a sanguine personality, I naturally was there for the party, but I learned a lot and felt my horizons expand.  This week I flew to Colorado for the wedding of my nephew.  How  good it is to be with family, and mine is spread across the continent.  My favorite part is the hugs, especially the ones that feel like we are both holding on to make up for so much time, the kind that bring tears to your eyes.  Besides the wedding, the reunions, I got to meet my niece's baby for the first time.  She is beautiful and happy and such a sweet addition to our huge family.  Again, even though I have flown many places in the intervening years, and have lost the thrill of that experience, I still feel like my horizons expand each time I travel.  The attitudes and opinions we take for granted "at home" do not carry over the borders.  There are new attitudes and opinions and it is really important to be humble enough to study them and see how they influence the folks who take them for granted.  I am grateful for my crazy family, for marriages and new babies, for sharing deep thoughts and feelings and especially for the hugs.  But let's be honest (I tell myself)....I am here for the party!  Go figure!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - Blue Symphony

I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noon-day dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet birds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.
The Cloud by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Yesterday I made Valentine cards for my granddaughters before I packed a little red bag and headed up to the gym for Pilates.  It was seriously cold, like four degrees and there was a blasting wind, but still  cars were in the ski resort parking lot, hardy souls.  I dashed in to the gym, checked in and went to sign up for my class, noticing that the sign-up sheet was not in its usual place, and that several people I didn't know had signed up for the class.  I was later in arriving than usual  because of the Valentine creation, but I did make it in the nick of time.  I grabbed some mats, pulled off several layers of clothing and other accoutrements, took a  deep breath and was ready to give my core a beating workout.  After class I re-layered and grabbed my little red bag and went to have a cup of joe with my workout buddies.  Conversation inevitably turned to politics and I looked for my graceful get away, but not soon enough.  Someone grabbed a newspaper and put it in front of me to read an article about Melania Trump's comments in a lawsuit about loosing out on the opportunity of a lifetime in promoting a line of clothing while she is First Lady, because of reports that she had worked as an escort.  Deep breath again, I looked at the small print, but then I realized I didn't have my glasses (oh where could they be?)  but that gave me a way out of the conversation.  But really, where could they be?  I retraced my steps and thoughts.  I was able to write the Valentine notes and sign in at the gym, so they weren't at home or in the car.  I checked every pocket of every (and that was a lot) layer of clothing and shook out my little red bag. After totally searching the gym  I figured they would turn up as I am an optimist.  I am wrong frequently and this was one of those times.  Flash forward to today, Saturday.  Carl and I got up and headed up to the gym to search again, and go to the post office to mail the Valentines.  The ski resort was packed with no parking space left as the temps were a balmy 18 degrees and no wind. The glasses had not been turned in, and were no where to be found. I entered the "distressed" zone.  Like every human on the planet, I hate to lose things.  It just didn't make sense.  I said a little prayer, because that is what I do when I feel distressed.  At home, it popped into my head to go look in the little red bag again, even though logic told me an empty bag would not produce a pair of glasses.  Oh wait, there was a little pocket on the bag and sure enough my glasses were wedged in it.  Clearly I am not smart enough to find them on my own, so I am attributing this to providence....go figure!  What color are you thinking about?  I bet it is a little red bag.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - Paranoia

I have never been a very pessimistic or paranoid person.  There have been moments of course, where I have entered their realms, but it always is overwhelming so, I run back to my safe, comfortable, optimistic playground where I give everything the benefit of the doubt.  I mean everything, including the weather and (mostly) other drivers.  It comes perhaps from having a very short memory and the inability to hold on to most slights for more than a few moments.  Today, however, I realized that paranoia and pessimism have worked their wormy way into my life.  When the telephone rings at home, I jump to the conclusion that it is probably some nefarious entity trying to get a donation, buy something, or scam me, until caller ID proves me wrong.  I grew up in the nuclear fear generation when fallout shelters inhabited the backyards of relatively wealthy and paranoid neighbors.  My children's generation grew up in the era of stranger-danger, which I think, contributes to the helicopter parenting style.  These things affect us unconsciously until we recognize their presence in our lives and put their influence in their proper place. Unlike my husband, who went to bed at halftime during the Super Bowl last night, I did not lose hope that the Patriots would rally and win.  My optimism paid off in rewarding me with a really fun and exciting game.  So, today, I am going to pay attention to what things bring those two P's into my life and see if I can give them the heave-
ho.  If I do not answer your phone call today, it is because I forgot to expect it to be a friend.  Forgive me....go figure!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Figuratively Seaking - Cyrus the Great

6"x6" oil  "Cyrus's Bouquet"
History is so interesting.  Depending on how you understand the events of the past, and what version you are studying, it completely flavors how you see things today.  If you don't know much history, then everything is a bit of a first impression. Although history is made of stories with facts attached,  it always represents a point of view. Still it can be so enlightening to see how events unfold and influence attitudes and opinions that echo way into the future.  In this day of alternative realities, it seems all the more important to tell the stories that represent the closest version of truth available.  Today I have been exploring Cyrus the Great who is attributed with building the largest empire the world had seen up to that point in human history.  He is considered the Father of Iran and still has much influence in the culture and politics of Iran.  He is mentioned in the Jewish faith in having returned the Babylonian exiles to Jerusalem and is also thought by some Muslim scholars to be in the Qur'an.  Many considered him to be a tolerant leader who allowed freedom for the people to follow their own religious beliefs and customs which aided a peaceful transition when their kingdoms were conquered. It will be interesting to see how our current rulers will play out in history.  I wonder if Cyrus had a florist.  That seems like one of those traditions that go far back into history...picking flowers and putting them in a container.  It has no real purpose other than to lift our spirits and bring beauty into our lives.  Enjoy this one.
Below is my 30 sketches in 30 days project all wrapped up....go figure!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - Windblown

I taught a painting session today at the lovely Harvest Moon Restaurant.  We painted a fun winter scene on beautiful slate.  Andrea, the proprietor, provided homemade potato and sweet potato chips and Focaccia pizza, while wine, beer and Argentinian pastries were available for purchase.  A good time was had by all.  After I have been teaching, or have lead a painting group, I always feel rather hyper and it takes me a while to settle down.  This sketch is a self portrait based on my Facebook profile photo.  I am windblown in the sun.  It is rather appropriate for how I am feeling.  This also marks day 30 in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  I am going to continue with sketches for February as I took a 60 sketch challenge but I am also going to do a few paintings as I am ready for color.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Figuratively Speaking -

My boys came to visit yesterday.  We celebrated my baby's 38th birthday (that is revealing) by going to an indoor virtual golf place and played for a couple of hours on a beautiful seaside golf course while it snowed outside. We laughed, teased, and munched on really good tasting but bad for you food.  I felt a little sick after a couple of pieces of fried cheese.  Then we played space miniature golf (all computerized) and I won!  I got a hole in one, a birdie and par.  I was feeling pretty pumped up until Carl pointed out I was last one up and had the advantage of analyzing the play. Being the only woman can be tricky business when playing with men.  There is a spirit of generosity and graciousness until you beat them!  I rarely get to have my boys all to myself.  They are usually accompanied by friends or their family, which is also fun, but I need my mother/son time once in a blue moon.  Virtual golf was a success with this crowd, and we will do it again someday. We usually go bowling once a year and I think it is about time to do that.  I will make sure I am first on the roster so I don't have the advantage of analyzing the other bowlers.....go figure!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Figuratively Speaking - Cheekiness

I love this cheeky fellow.  He is much taller and can read today, but he is still cheeky. Cheeky:  impudent in an endearing way.  That is the definition I choose to associate with that word.  My son-in-law is from England.  His native vocabulary has worked its way into our family speech and "cheeky" is one of my favorites.  My husband likes the phrase "taking a lie down."  Carl is a bit phlegmatic (cool, composed, calm, and a bit laid back).  I understand that the Prime Minister of England, Theresa May, is visiting the US president today. I wonder what phrases attributed to their respective nationalities and personalities, were being tossed about.  I would like to have been a fly on the wall in that discussion.  That phrase, "fly on the wall" apparently is an American invention from the 1920's.  So back to "cheeky."    It comes from the word "cheek" with a definition of "insolence".  I think "cheeky" is more "tongue in cheek" then insolence.  By the way, that is a phrase of British origin.  I clearly have too much time on my hands to be writing about this.  Bringing it back around to politics, someone who really looked adorable when he was being cheeky was the president who recently passed the mantle ( I won't go into that phrase) .  Here he is, tongue in cheek
....Go Figure!

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